I’m 41 weeks pregnant with my first bub. I feel like a hippopotamus and I have elephantitis of the ankles. My back is so sore I feel like a brickie on the verge of retirement. Every time I eat, the food makes its way about an inch down my throat and then rapidly works its way back up as acid to give me twice the love at mealtimes.
At my next appointment at the John Hunter, I ask the midwife: “What will it take to get this baby out? Do I need to feign exceedingly low blood pressure or make up some other serious ailment?” Unimpressed, the midwife says the baby will arrive when it is good and ready. But what about me? I’M READY NOW. So I waddle back out of the hospital with baby in tow squashing all of my internal organs and relocating my stomach somewhere up near my boobs.
“How about a jumping castle?” suggests one girlfriend.
“Hot sex. Hot curry,” another offers earnestly. Yes, excellent, because I feel so incredibly sexy right now. I am 21 kilos above my normal weight. I haven’t seen my genitals in so long I have forgotten where they are. Let’s add to that the possibility of loose bowels from spicy food, throw some Barry White in the background and boom! As the Flight of the Concords would say, it’s “business time”. My poor fiancé.
“Jog up Garden Grove Parade,” another friend chimes in.
Have you ever tried running up a steep incline with a bowling ball strapped to your stomach and swollen extremities? You see the dilemma, dames. It is one of those things you don’t think about during the pregnancy journey. With all the scans and excitement, the baby shower, the gushing relatives, the gifts, setting up the nursery and preparing for your first born, you proudly declare your due date to the world like a badge of honour, a line drawn in the sand after which time your life will be changed forever – the new family chapter begins.
And then suddenly you reach 40 weeks and your baby is curled up so tightly and quietly in your womb that you can hardly imagine yourself un-pregnant. The baby is completely unaware that everyone is WAITING for her. On the day it hits 40 weeks, you rearrange the nursery for the fourth time and clean out the pantry again. You do another load of washing, check and repack your hospital bag and press repeat. You sit down to drink your umpteenth cup of tea as you have ceased to worry about caffeine consumption. If baby wants to get comfy in there, she can have some caffeine on tap. You wait for the inevitable contractions that are surely just around the corner.
Your Mum rings. Again. “How are you feeling darling? No pains yet?” You assure your Mum that you will call when labour begins as you’ve heard it is pretty hard to miss and there is absolutely no movement at the station – same as yesterday.